A mountain biker was killed by a cougar and another was seriously injured in a rare mountain lion attack Saturday in Washington state.
The two were mountain biking near North Bend about30 miles from Seattle, just after 11 a.m. when a cougar began to chase them.
At first the bikers were able to scare the big cat back into the woods by making loud noises and striking the animal, but just as they were about to ride away, the cougar came back and attacked the victims.
“The first victim told us that the actual cougar’s mouth was around his head. The cougar was trying to shake the victim from side to side,”said Sgt. Ryan Abbott, spokesman for the King County Sheriff’s Office.
The other biker then fled on foot, which caught the cougar’s attention. Abbott said the big cat then released the first victim and chased the other. The victim took off on his bike and as soon as he looked back, he saw the cougar dragging his friend into the woods, Abbott said.
The surviving victim rode nearly two miles to find cell reception to call 911.
When the sheriff’s department found the victim in the cougar’s den, with the animal on top of him. Abbott said one of the deputies shot the cougar and missed, but the gunshot was enough to scare the animal away.
This was just the second fatal in Washington state during the past century. Of the roughly 120 attacks that have been reported in the United States and Canada in the past 100 years only 25 have been fatal.